For Screaming Females frontwoman Marissa Paternoster, songwriting isn’t about eureka moments. “A lot of people are under some misconception that when you write music or make paintings or execute any creative act, you’re struck by inspiration. I have never found that really to be true,” she says. “It’s kind of like banging your head against the wall until something comes out.”
Thankfully, the 31-year-old singer-guitarist and her bandmates have done plenty of headbanging — literally and figuratively — since coming together in 2005. The result has been seven albums of ragged rock that finds drummer Jarrett Dougherty and bassist King Mike setting the tempo for mosh pits — and then getting out of the way of Paternoster’s righteous riffs and Grace Slick-esque vibrato. After more than a decade as a going concern, the band finally has time to reflect — and not rush — its music. “There’s more opportunity to discover things that you haven’t been able to do in the past,” Paternoster says. “It definitely offers up chances for new and exciting things to happen.”
That’s the case on the trio’s latest album, “All at Once,” as they find new stones to overturn, blasting anthems about Information Age anxiety and anti-patriarchy animus with clear-eyed vigor and a more varied palette. As always, Paternoster can pen such epic lines as “where future structures fail, their ruins write your name,” belt out a pop hook and find joy in a guitar solo — all in the same song.
Paternoster still finds audience members who are “surprised” that a female-fronted band can be this good, or that she can wield an ax the way she does. She has this: “If I’m going to serve as a gateway into them understanding that women are fully capable of doing anything and everything that men can do, then I’m happy to be of service.”
Show: April 4 at 8 p.m. at the Rock and Roll Hotel. $16.